Thursday, October 18, 2012

Natural Face Moisturizers for Winter: S.W. Basics, Kahina Giving Beauty & Pai

S.W. BASICS  It's still Spring-like here in NYC, but I still feel like there's a bit of a chill in the evenings and that means it's time to start using moisturizers with a little more kick in them.  This year I'm trying S.W. Basics' Cream and, once again, these guys knock it out of the park. With only three ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil, this balm-like cream is so pure, it really moisturizes your skin, yet doesn't clog. My skin is baby smooth and I've been putting it on before makeup with excellent results.  All their products are handmade in Brooklyn and their packaging is excellent.   This is a big jar as far as moisturizers go and you need so little. $34  Oh, and for the coming cold weather, I also recommend their lip balm!  

KAHINA GIVING BEAUTY  What can be said about Kahina Giving Beauty's Argan Oil that hasn't been said a thousand times?  If you're looking for a hydrating face oil (year 'round), this is the one to buy.  It's the real deal and I use it daily.  This oil is so pure you can also use it to hydrate your hair, nails (it's really great to rub on your cuticles and hands before bed - you wake up with such smooth and hydrated skin) and, of course, your face. My friend tried my Kahina this past summer and is now so hooked. He has me order and have it shipped to his workplace, "Get me the large and quick!"  Liquid gold.   30 ML: $36  100 ML: $82    473 ML: $200

PAI  This is another moisturizer that isn't just for the colder months, but if you don't use creams in the Summer and want to take it up a notch, this is for you. Pai's Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream ($44) is definitely thicker than a lotion, but doesn't feel heavy.  Beyond the fact that it smells absolutely DELISH (I'm a huge fan of the smell of chamomile) this hydrates, goes on smooth and comes in a super easy pump.  So many of their creams are excellent, but this is the one that I use and love.   If you are in the market for a heavier cream, try their Macadamia & Rose BioRejuvenate Moisturizer. Everything is organic and awesome, trust me.  $47

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shannon Reed Soy Candles - Smell SO Amazing, Packaged in Recycled Glass & All Natural!

One thing that I really love about writing posts on green businesses is learning their back story. When I decided to write a post on Shannon Reed's essential oil candles and read the "Our Story" section on her website, I really connected with her experiences with synthetic fragrance - be it in her home cleaning products or scented candles.

After finding out from a doctor that she was allergic to fragrance, Shannon decided to do some investigating and found out that companies are not required to tell you what is actually in their fragrance since many times it's considered a trade "secret".  Many of the compounds to create the fragrance are linked to asthma, reproductive disorders and more.  So, Shannon decided to start creating her own line of soy candles with essential oils and botanical extracts...and they smell like PERFECTION.

I have her Laid Back candle which is a mix of Lavender and Benzoin.  The ingredients?  Simple and natural: lavender essential oil, benzoin essential oil, soy wax and a cotton wick.     It smells absolutely fantastic.  $34

I also am on my second Feisty candle which is a blend of cinnamon, orange, clove, mint, cardamom & vanilla.  This candle is excellent for Fall/Winter and smells heavenly.  Ingredients: Vanilla Absolute, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Cinnamon Essential Oil, Clove Bud Essential Oil, Cardamom Essential Oil, Soy Wax, Cotton Wick

I'd also like to say that all their containers are made from recycled glass, the packaging is  made from recycled paper using soy ink and they're made in the USA!

This is definitely the kind of company that I love to support.  Not only are they concerned about making excellent products, but they're concerned about our health and the environment.   If you're looking for a gorgeously green candle, please give Shannon Reed a try.  They're definitely my favorite.

*Initially, I had purchased these candles myself.  Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Great Natural Makeup Removers: Inika, S.W. Basics & Good Ole Coconut Oil

The good news is that companies are coming out with some great makeup removers to take off all that natural makeup that you girls are sporting now.  I've got three of my favorites here - one creamy, one oily and one that can be either oily or kinda creamy depending on the temperature (sounds intriguing, right?)

Inika Eye Makeup Remover is creamy, it smells great and if you're the kind of girl who loves a a less oily feel, this is for you.  I find it takes off everything with ease.  Now granted, waterproof mascara is a little tough, but there's not too many removers that are able to get off waterproof in one swipe, anyway.  This remover works perfectly and I recommend it highly.  It's currently in my cabinet and I would definitely repurchase.  $34


I was never one for oily makeup removers in the past.  I couldn't stand the burn they left on my skin (most likely from all the perfumes and chemicals) and the fact that you could never apply makeup after using them because everything would run down your face from the residue it left.  But that was before I went natural in my makeup and tried S.W. Basics' makeup remover.  This oil is spectacular.  Yep,  spectacular.   With just three organic ingredients, there's just no way you could go wrong.  I apply a little to a cotton ball and swipe it across my lids.  It doesn't leave any greasy feeling, just a clean, moisturized eye. I understand that you can use this all over, but I just use it on my eyes & I love it.  $14


I must admit that I use coconut oil for pretty much everything these days.  I use it in my morning smoothie, I use it as a body moisturizer and as a makeup remover.  Coconut oil definitely removes all of my makeup, I just feel like it can sometimes be a bit too much for my skin, so using it on my eyes is one thing, but all over my face can break me out.  Everyone is different, though and I suggest you give it a try.  I also recommend only applying a small amount to a cotton ball so you don't get it in your's not harmful, just uncomfortable.    When I do use coconut oil to remove all of my face makeup, I follow up with a toner like S.W. Basics' toner.  The coconut oil leaves the skin smooth and hydrated. $9

*I've purchased all of these products myself.  All opinions are my own.